There is something special about taking a few minutes on Christmas Day to sip on a glass of inexpensive South African wine as I overlook the Cape Town waterfront, having just reunited with our 20-year-old son who has joined us for the final stages of our southern African vacation.
I’ve experienced African summer Christmases much earlier in my life, in 1976-7, 78-9 and 79-80, but this is the first time we’ve done it as a family, and of course the holiday season is a time for family connections.
I hope you are enjoying your own meaningful and enjoyable break from the day-to-day work and responsibilities and of course am thankful that circumstances have made it possible for us to enjoy this special holiday experience.
Not everyone has it so good, I realize. While overall the world is getting better, there is still far too much poverty, war, hate, disease, and anger. Yet we can be thankful for the good things in life and the opportunities and possibilities that we can capture with some good fortune and personal initiative.
When I last celebrated Christmas in Africa I could not have known how things would be almost four decades later. Obviously, not all is perfect. Zimbabwe — which we will visit later this week — has suffered extreme poverty and political repression. Yet there is plenty of hope in the air. With good will and integrity and an ability to recognize and respect others, we can all do well in the future.
Best wishes for the Christmas Holiday season and for the New Year.